Brewster County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Brewster County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Brewster County.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Required Court Appearances in Brewster County
Any required court appearances in Brewster County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
Sentencing in Brewster County
In Brewster County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
In a jury trial in Brewster County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
I need help for my Brewster County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Brewster County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Brewster County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
Prosecutor in Brewster County
In Brewster County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Brewster County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Texas. For the most part, the prosecutor in Brewster County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
Where will Brewster County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Brewster County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Brewster County.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
What happens in Brewster County at an arraignment?
In Brewster County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
Brewster County Criminal Court Locations
Brewster County 394th District Court
Address: PO Box 1024, Alpine TX 79831
Phone: 432-837-6216 Fax: 432-837-6217
Brewster County Constitutional Court
Address: PO Drawer 119, Alpine TX 79831
Phone: 432-837-3366 Fax: 432-837-6217
Brewster County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: 107 W Avenue E #9, Alpine TX 79830
Phone: 432-837-6214 Fax: 432-837-6217
Brewster County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: PO Box 496, Terlingua TX 79852
Brewster County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3
Address: P O Box 401, Marathon TX 79842
Phone: 432-386-4530 Fax: 432-837-9249
Alpine Municipal Court
Address: 309 W Sul Ross Ave, Alpine TX 79830